Ever tasted those fancy dipping oils at the supermarket and go wohoooo! Well that happened to me but they were so darn overpriced that I just finished the samples and skedaddled as fast as I could.
On my morning jaunt to namdhari(our neighbourhood organic store) I found all kinds of fresh herbs and I bought them all on a whim. I got several bunches of fresh basil, thyme, rosemary & oregano ,with no idea of what I was going to do with them.
I did make a litre of my versatile Italian roast tomato sauce but I still had a lot of fresh herbs leftover.I was still exuberant on my afternoon coffee and energized like a little bunny so I decided to do something worthy with those herbs while at the same time season my cast iron pan.
It’s not an elaborate process,almost easier than making tea but what I like most about it is that I got to act like a fancy chef on TV ,tossing random things in oil and suddenly ending up with an elixir.
It was so easy that I urge all food enthusiasts to try to make it at-least once!Those fancy overpriced garlic and chilli oils at the supermarket are exactly that, fancy and overpriced because they can be made very easily at home with minimum fuss and lesser equipment.
It makes a great side with bread and you can use it to drizzle over pizzas(recipe here),pastas and herb chicken.Its also great in salad dressings.I also amp up my lacklustre soups and salads with this oil all the time.So what if I can’t afford truffle oil?I can make liquid gold on my own with fresh herbs and store bought olive oil!
At one of our house parties, herb infused oil and a ginormous loaf of freshly made sour dough bread was one of the most loved appetizers we served.There is something so intimate about tearing up bread and dipping it in the oil and sharing it with people over a beer.
Make sure to store the oil in refrigerator if you are using fresh herbs because even a tiny bit of herb ,that’s not covered with oil will end up going bad very soon and you will be forced to throw the whole thing out.
You can also infuse olive oil with red chilli flakes, pepper and lemon peel at home using the same method below.
Serves: 1 cup
- 1 cup oil(preferably olive oil but vegetable oil will also work)
- 1 cup fresh herbs-oregano,thyme and rosemary
- 4-5 crushed garlic cloves
- Heat the oil on a low flame for 5 minutes.
- Switch off the flame.Make sure the oil is not hot enough that the herbs fry.
- Add the herbs and garlic and let it sit for 1 hour.
- Strain the herbs and garlic.Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
Before I go I want to have a quick word about the cast iron skillet I am using.A cast iron skillet is a life time investment as opposed to the teflon coated non stick pans.With adequate love and care it can last your and your kids lifetime.But the real reason to use this is to avoid the harmful plastic coating entering your food.
Have no doubt that teflon coated pans are toxic as are those plastic boxes to store food.I am slowly but steadily moving away from all things plastic.
The pan I use is Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet.It’s pre seasoned and can be used on stove top, induction stove and in the oven.I have been using this for the past 1 year and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.